Dylan is the Founder & CEO of Mindbloom, an NYC-based mental health and wellbeing startup helping people expand their human potential with clinician-prescribed, guided psychedelic medicine experiences. There, he is partnering with clinicians, technologists, researchers, and patients to increase access to science-backed treatments, starting by reducing the cost of ketamine therapy for depression and anxiety by over 65%.
Dylan is a 10-year psychedelic medicine patient and 3-time tech entrepreneur with both $100M+ in funding and an exit in his prior startups, which were focused on increasing access to justice and democracy. Dylan graduated from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
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1:08 - My background with anxiety and being a Mindbloom patient
9:27 - Background on Mindbloom
11:50 - Dylan's personal experience with psychedelics
16:47 - How Mindbloom is making ketamine accessible with telemedicine
22:36 - The different ways to take ketamine
24:46 - Ketamine dosing
27:20 - What a Mindbloom experience is like
31:23 - The importance of focus when building a startup
36:27 - Should psychedelics be legal
39:28 - How Dylan is building company culture at Mindbloom
Dylan, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me on Trey, super pumped to chat.
Yeah, same here. So I actually have known about MindBloom for a while now. I think it was a little over a year ago that I first heard about it and I've actually been a patient as well. And you and I had spoken briefly at that time, I think you were, you were doing some of the initial screenings for patients, I think in the early days
That sounds right.
So it's good to, good to connect to you here a year later.
I'm excited to see how things have progressed. So maybe let's just start with a little bit of background on you and Mindbloom.
Awesome. I'm the founder and CEO at Mindbloom. I'm a three time entrepreneur who has built a few companies that have all been deeply personal to me. Maybe you could call them like world positive companies. Trying to increase access where I think people need it most. My first company was in voting and elections.
We sold to a company called Democracy.com trying to increase access to local democracy, maybe a little bit before its time. My last company, a company called Mighty that increases access to social justice and financial inclusion for people who've been injured in the justice system. And this company Mighty where we are increasing access to some pretty radically transformative behavioral healthcare treatments, psychedelic therapies.
Awesome. So you kicked things off. Was it about a year ago? When did the company actually launch?
Hmm. I feel like I kicked off Mindbloom like 11 years ago and I've been, have been working on it since then, but I founded Mindbloom, around November of 2018 is when I started working on it in earnest. I at the time had just left my last company Mighty in order to start something in mental health care.
It's an area that's just deeply personal to me and at the time I was getting lunch with my good friend and personalized medicine physician, and he blew my mind when he told me that he had been, working with ketamine therapy in his private practice and getting people incredible results.
I had for years and years, not just been, evangelizing psychedelic therapy because of the impact that it made on me and my life and my personal and emotional and ontological development, but I'd been following psychedelic therapy and medicine, and the incredible work that MAPS and lots of other organizations have been doing to bring it to the forefront.
But I was still, my mind was blown when I learned that psychedelic therapy was actively being used by physicians and clinicians across the country, through ketamine therapy. So at that time I became a patient myself and it was just as powerful as some of my other psychedelic therapy experiences.
And I saw a big opportunity to help bring this to more people by increasing access, by bringing the cost down, using telemedicine to make it more affordable and just try to build something really special with the limited talents that I have.
What was your personal experience? I guess, prior to starting the company, with psychedelics?
So I grew up in a family that was pretty annihilated by mental health care issues. A lot of addiction, a lot of psychosis. And in fact, my mother, today is one of the half a million homeless people in the US. She lost her battle with schizophrenia and addiction. And as a working class family, we were not able to help her.
Because of growing up in a family with a lot of addiction, I had a very strong aversion and my relationship to drugs. So I never thought I would use something like psychedelics, until, it was June of 2009. I had a really close friend who I really trusted who really advised me to try MDMA, thought it would be really good for me.
I Knew that I had some issues that I've come to understand, or as a result from growing up in a pretty turbulent home, that, you know, I think a lot of people would describe as traumatic. And when I did MDMA for the first time, It like catalyzed a fundamental transformation and how it related to like others in the world, sort of pushed me on a path to transforming from someone who has very much a pessimist as someone who could at least begin becoming an optimist and relate positively to others in the world.
And not just like my tribe, which is, you know, a story that you hear from a lot of other people. So it's not that unique. Over the last 11 years have had experiences with a lot of different psychedelic therapies, probably most of the well-known ones. And they've just been a massive part of my development.
Like, would I be who I am today without them? Undoubtedly, No. You know, I don't think they're the, the end all be all of like the development that I've had or that I've seen other people had. They're like a tool and a medicine and a mechanism to catalyze change in healing. No one puts the work in and I put a lot of work in, in other areas as well.
But man, I just think it's such a gift to have had access to these things and the ability and opportunity to help others access to them in a way that connects the right people to the right medicines with the right doctors is I'm very grateful for it.
That's great. So Mindbloom is starting with ketamine right now, and some of that's just due to the current regulatory and legal environment. Did you have any experience with ketamine prior to starting Mindbloom? Or was this your sort of first foray into this particular substance?
So after I became a ketamine patient through my physician's practice, at that point I was like, wow, here's a medicine that feels just as effective as other medicines I've tried. And I think there's an opportunity to use it. I do think a couple of things have like dramatically changed over the past 18 months.
Since I thought about starting Mindbloom, and one of them was initially I thought, wow. I mean, it's really powerful. But like you just pointed out, it's the only available prescribable psychedelic therapy. And there's this opportunity to leverage ketamine as a wedge, into building the brand distribution channels, provider network, therapeutic platforms, software, such that as these other psychedelic therapies become unlocked by.
MAPS, and Compass Pathways and ATAI and a lot of other biotech and pharma companies that are bringing these to market to help change lives. We would have already sort of built the demand and the piping for these companies. However, a couple of things have changed in that time period.
One is after partnering with a lot of ketamine providers, who've been doing this for years and hearing their stories of the transformation that they have created with their clients. To actually digging into the clinical research around depression and anxiety and how intractable these conditions and states of being are for people and how deficient SSRIs, and antidepressants are when it comes to the actual efficacy of them, both in the short and long-term for people.
And then three, seeing not just the clinical data on ketamine therapy and just how incredibly effective it is in the short-term of providing rapid relief for so many people, but actually seeing at Mindbloom the thousands of sessions that our clinicians have done the life-changing results from people who've been on antidepressants over the past two to three years, and none of them have worked for them, who are having relief for the first time in 10, 20, 30 years.
All of that has shifted my thinking into thinking that, ketamine therapy alone is going to be an instrumental paradigm shift in how psychiatric treatments are provided to patients in the behavioral healthcare system and has the power to like fundamentally transform behavioral health care.
My hypothesis is that, you know, there are like 38 million Americans on antidepressants right now and 20 million million Americans on anti-anxiety meds. And in five to 10 years, we can see it totally flipped where, a majority of people are using ketamine therapy as a frontline treatment. And we see traditional antidepressant SSRI use plummet and ketamine therapy along with these other medicines, supplant them as the leading treatment.
Super exciting. In terms of the results that you're seeing. It's obviously really powerful. There's a common phrase in psychedelic circles of set and setting, right? And when it comes to these ketamine clinics, you know, they've actually been around in some form or another for about a decade. But what Mindbloom is doing, and there's like a very small handful of sort of newer companies that are coming to market, that are offering clinics and patient services. And there's just a different experience. Can you talk a little bit about that contrast or I guess how you think about the Mindbloom experience versus, your run of the mill ketamine clinic that you might happen upon, that's been around for five or 10 years?
Yeah, absolutely. So at Mindbloom we think about two core focuses. So it all stems from our mission to transform lives today to transform the world tomorrow. Because maybe like you, we really believe ardently that if we're successful, we're going to accelerate the healthcare system's adoption of psychedelic therapies make a dent in all global human suffering and potentially even like elevate humanity as collective wisdom, compassion, and consciousness.
So the way that we're approaching that is twofold, One is to increase access and the second is to just deliver exceptional clinically efficacious and transformative experiences. The way that we're increasing access is we're really focused on how to make treatment more approachable, more affordable, and more available to people.
And one of the biggest levers that we have for that is leveraging technology. One of the ways that the Mindbloom experience differs from I think a lot of other experiences is that it's completely virtual and online. So we leverage a network of partner clinicians that we're supporting, who are psychiatric clinicians, prescribing ketamine therapy for people who have diagnosable conditions of anxiety and depression today, and then we support those clinicians and those clients with a network of coaches who are psychedelic guides, who are helping support the clinicians and the patients throughout the experience.
And it's all taking place on an application similar to like Calm or Headspace for psychedelic therapy. What that allows us to do is to, one, make treatment a little more approachable for people who are wary or apprehensive, or even scared of these new treatments, by creating a really clean, polished, seamless journey and in a way where they're supported from end to end by one of these guides who, you know, is their peer and by a psychiatric expert who also understands these medicines intimately.
Two, we've dropped the price down from your average ketamine clinic, about 80%. So Mindbloom is between $150 and $250 per session, whereas a lot of ketamine clinics today, can be between $600 and $1,200 a session, you know, depending on where. The provider of the treatment and then third ketamine clinics are, naturally geographically constrained.
So I think a lot about how do we get treatment to, you know, a single mother who has been depressed for 30 years. Who's like a three-and-a-half hour drive outside of Kansas City, Missouri. And so by using a telemedicine based approach, you were able to rapidly increase availability to a lot of people who otherwise might not have access to that, you know, especially, depending on when your listeners listen to this.
But, I dunno how optimistic people are, but especially like in these times of COVID, where people are, you know, particularly, constrained in their ability to travel. So I think that's a big part of our, how the approach is different in terms of increasing access and knowing that, you know, we're a extremely well-capitalized venture backed tech startup, backed from the top investors and have a team of people who are both completely mission obsessed with psychedelic therapy, but are also professionals at what they do, and have really dug into build an incredibly exceptional client experience from end to end, that focuses both on like the mindset, like you pointed out in the, and helping them craft the perfect physical setting, while connecting them with experts in the field to support them to the journey.
Which has, as an end result is creating these really like outsized clinical outcomes compared to both traditional ketamine clinics and traditional antidepressants, you know, as well as just exceptional client experiences that leave people uplifted and in a place where they can actually create some strong behavioral changes throughout treatment.
So I know that this year in 2020, there were some accelerations of the telemedicine laws that allowed you to open up your services to a number of different States in the US. I believe it's a state by state issue. Right? Can you talk a little bit about what those changes were this year and sort of what you're expecting over the next year or two?
Yeah, absolutely. So there are a variety of different regulations at the federal and state level around the prescribing of controlled substances. , one is the Ryan Haight act, which is a federal act that prohibits the prescribing of controlled substances online, that really came about in the nineties.
Whereas the internet became ubiquitous. There were some shady shops that were slinging pain pills on the internet, which, not a huge externality and problem. But potentially in a little too sweeping, bureaucratic fashion, we passed a statute that outlawed the prescribing of all controlled substances.
About 20 years later here, it was about 2009 was when they passed this. So 11 years later, telemedicine has dramatically advanced and improved and not allowing people to access medicine remotely is a huge impediment to patient access, especially now. So the federal government and state governments are following suit have enacted some pretty critical and overdue changes to begin allowing the prescribing of controlled substances through telemedicine.
So the landscape has continued to shift both in the short and longterm. That was something we were a little bit ahead of.
So talk a little bit about the form factor of ketamine when you're doing it virtually. Because I understand that there's several different ways that you can take ketamine and they all have sort of pros and cons. Talk about how you guys do that right now.
Yeah, absolutely. Let me just preface everything by saying I'm a tech entrepreneur and I'm a ketamine patient, a psychedelic enthusiast, but I'm not a doctor or a clinician. I work with a lot of trailblazing, brilliant expert psychiatrists and clinical researchers and psychiatric nurse practitioners and coaches.
But I'm none of those things. So this is my personal viewpoint. So there are a variety of different routes of administration for how to get ketamine into your bloodstream that different providers will use. There's intravenous injection. So like into your vein. That's what predominantly is leveraged at most ketamine clinics.
There's intramuscular injection, which is it's the muscle. There is intra-nasal. Which is into your intra-nasal cavity. There's sublingual where you dissolve the medicine and like a tablet into your sublingual and mucal membranes. It's like under your tongue and your cheeks. And then there's also oral where you swallow it.
So the first four that I mentioned, intravenous intramuscular, sublingual, and intra-nasal, they have different bio availabilities, but they're all just loading ketamine directly into your bloodstream. Taking orally can be slightly different in that, the way it's broken down, in your system, will also create what's called nor ketamine, which can be a little more sedative.
So you don't see people using an oral formulation where it's swallowed as often. Subjectively people can feel like a little groggier and more sick with longer-lasting effects that aren't shown to be antidepressive. The formulation that our clinicians prescribe at Mindbloom that we've partnered with our sublingual formulation.
They found that that has just been a more effective and just experientially, positive and pleasant route of administration for clients on the Mindbloom platform.
So that's dissolved under the tongue spit out after about five to 10 minutes, and then it's about an hour long experience where people are sort of undergoing the height of the therapeutic affects or experience, before curtailing into integration practices and afterwards in the days ahead.
So talk to me a little bit about dosing. It's one of these things that it seems like it's a little bit counterintuitive, where you might expect a big six foot five, 250 pound guy to need a super high dosage of ketamine versus a very petite person, and that's not always the case, right?
Can you talk a little bit about that and maybe what you're starting to uncover with some of the data from these initial sessions that you're administering?
I think a lot of protocols that we've seen will use weight as an input into an algorithm to spit out the dosage and anecdotally what our clinicians have seen over thousands of sessions is that in practice, there's probably a low correlation between weight or size and somebody's sensitivity to the medicine.
One of the things the clinicians have been finding is that people who come in with anxiety or express a lot of anxious tendencies, generally require a higher dose in order to reach the same therapeutic threshold as somebody with depression or even somebody who has like some sort of mindfulness practice where they can sink into the medicine. I was recently chatting with, I think it was Paul Austin at Third Wave and he sort of unprompted was telling me how Stan Grof who's one of the, if not the godfather of psychedelic therapy, had noticed that people with a neurotic personality on, you know, different sort of personality tests or profiles, required.
higher doses of LSD or other psychedelics in order to reach the same therapeutic effect.
So we haven't run any clinical studies on this yet, but it is data that we're collecting in terms of different doses for people and yeah. What the dissociative level of the experiences for them, how their symptoms trend over time, potential side effects, which is really rare, in order to start piecing together, how do we figure out how to get the right dose to the right patient at the right time. In practice with the clinicians is just do, is dose people really low and then titrate them up as needed.
Yeah that resonates with me and that was definitely my experience. I probably, you know, register very high on the anxiety and neurotic spectrum.
And you're an entrepreneur.
Exactly. So it's definitely something where I kinda kept upping the dosage, but I I should preface this by saying it was still an extremely positive experience, but I felt like I never particularly got into a disassociative state.
Maybe describe the actual experience for people that, having not gone through it. What exactly happens and what they should expect from the experience?
Oh, there's the classic. Hey, describe an ineffable psychedelic experience to everybody question. So like in any psychedelic therapy, it's it depends on the dose and it depends on the setting and it depends on the mindset people have going in. One of the ways that I think about personally ketamine against maybe some other psychedelic therapies, am guessing your audience is sophisticated and like, maybe has some experience around psychotherapies, Is that whereas serotonigenic psychedelics like LSD or psilocybin, or even like DMT or ayahuasca it to some degree, enhance your senses.
The point of distortion, ketamine works on your glutamate system. And whereas these other medicines like attenuate the receptors, this actually is an antagonist that sort of cuts the receptors off. And it upregulates brain derived neurotrophic factor during it, which creates the neuroplastic state.
But subjectively it feels, not like your senses are being enhanced, but more like your senses are being cut off. And you're like retreating into a little bit of a dream state. Depending on the dose, it can feel like very pleasant and warm. , you know, you, you euphoric even. But for a lot of people they'll have, especially if they've had really, tough depression and anxiety for a long time, they will have freedom from ruminative thought disorders around their impression type, depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, substance use disorder or any other addictive behaviors or thought patterns.
They'll have an elevated mood, which sometimes people haven't had and like months, years, which can be pretty surprising for people. And a lot of people will have sort of visual psychedelic effects, but that feel like more in the background in the foreground. So it'd be like shapes or colors or visions, a little more dreamlike, then seratonigenic psychedelic therapies, accompanied with some of those hallucinations can be, call it like psychological hallucination.
And so, insights into ways of being or insights into a client's intentions that they have set ahead of time and come in with. And so for some people can be very psychological for some very physical and emotional.
But the hallmarks are generally, improved mood insights, and oftentimes afterwards sort of like, uplifting and relief and motivation to take some steps forward in their own healing journey.
One of the things that's really great about ketamine in a therapeutic setting is as it's relatively short-lived, right? It's about an hour and change, right? The experience versus some of these other psychedelics, which may be, you know, six hours, eight hours, 12 hours, in terms of the future of psychedelic therapy, how do you think about that as it pertains to Mindblood, just given the duration of some of these actual experiences?
The way I think about the future of psychedelic therapy is just getting increased access. Increasingly effective Mindbloom and everybody else in the space, at understanding how to match like the right client to the right treatment with the right professionals, with the right therapeutic content or programming, like at the right time.
For some people that might mean one medicine is significantly better than the other for others. It might mean trying a variety of different medicines that are relevant for their condition or mental state. For others it might mean a lot of medicines, sequentially and others might mean like very occasionally. One thing that I think that makes ketamine a little unique is because it only lasts an hour because there's very rarely, although sometimes any sort of hangover effect, especially the next day. I think it does make it a little more manageable for more frequent visitation for people who maybe have more serious, like depression, anxiety, they're continuing to experience.
And by like lifting them out of that mood, they're able to sort of like reset their emotional state while they're working on themselves. Psilocybin and MDMA, generally are a little bit more like heavy hitting and I want to say one and done. It depends on the person, but a little more challenging to use more frequently.
I think a lot of these regulations and laws, there's a big unknown, right? I think a lot of people are hopeful that there's going to be changes. And we're already starting to see some of that in terms of the like decrim movements that are happening in various cities around the country.
In terms of actually running your business, how much are you, I guess, trying to keep a pulse on these things, how much is that influencing your longer term strategy? Or are you just focused completely on ketamine therapy right now? And if you know these opportunities present themselves down the road, it's just something that you'll be positioned to take advantage of?
My philosophy is when you're building a startup, like one of the number one things that kills a startup is lack of focus. It's so challenging to do one thing well, doing two or three things well, like half assing two or three things, really blocks velocity. Therefore we are at least today, laser focused on how do we get this transformational medicine that people are currently not accessing because it's new and weird.
It's super expensive. And it's only in geographic, like some urban and geographic centers. How do we make this treatment as good as possible from a clinical efficacy standpoint, a client transformation standpoint and get it to as many people that actually need it as possible?
And there's so much opportunity there to help so many people, that is really what we're laser focused on. But you know, a lot of our investors, advisors, friends, have their fingers to the pulse of what's going on with all of the other clinical trials.
So super excited, super enthusiastic, would love to help bring other treatments to as many people as possible. But right now we're just laser focused on how do we get ketamine therapy right.
I know at least pre COVID, dating back to last year, you had a physical location in New York. Is that still a part of your strategy?
Yeah. So we launched a pilot facility in New York, whereby our clinicians were treating people in person and if they were eligible and good fits and wanted to try remote treatments afterwards, then they would be eligible to do so. It's a protocol that they got from a lot of other ketamine clinics and psychiatrists who have been treating people, both in person and remotely.
When COVID happened, our clinician saw an opportunity to help dramatically increase access to the medicine by shifting to a fully virtual model, especially given their experience and expertise in ketamine therapy for years. And the fact that in the first, you know, What was that several hundred sessions with clients, there were no adverse events. Clients really wanted to do remote therapy and they're getting incredible clinical outcomes. Especially being able to do it at home in their own sort of a safe setting without having to travel, accessing it at a reasonable rate.
So yeah, today Mindbloom is a hundred percent focused on virtual, psychedelic therapy because we think that is the number one way to help dramatically increase access to the people who need it most.
And you recently closed a round of funding, is that right? Can you talk a little about that and maybe what you plan to do in this sort of next chapter of Mindbloom?
Yeah, absolutely. So we raised a Series A round of funding from some of the top brand name VCs in the world who share our vision for how psychedelic therapies can radically transform lives today and the world tomorrow, who also have deep expertise in healthcare and are very involved in a lot of the other major psychedelic therapy companies, running clinical trials.
What we're going to do with the money, is, one, continue to build out our leadership team of people who are mission obsessed and really, really incredible professionals at what they do and are fired up about putting all of their wisdom and compassion and creativity into bringing these medicines to the world.
And two, we're going to scale our offering and our clinician network and coach network, across the country and begin expanding into other conditions besides depression and anxiety. So again, just really focusing on how do we increase access and how do we create like the most clinically efficacious and transformative client experience as possible.
What are some of those other conditions you think will come next after depression and anxiety?
OCD, PTSD, substance use disorder, potentially pain. There's a lot of clinical research behind ketamine therapy to really help people who have had a variety of different mental health care challenges. One of the things it's pretty fascinating about ketamine is because it's the only psychedelic, that's not a schedule one drug, so, completely legal.
I think we believe that there are clinicians believe that there's more research on ketamine alone, in terms of like peer reviewed clinical studies, than pretty much all other psychedelic therapies combined. It's one of the, I think advantages that ketamine has at least in the eyes of the call it, like vanilla psychiatric community, is there's just pretty like overwhelming research and data behind how efficacious it is for so many things, especially compared to existing treatment options.
So there's a lot of opportunity to not just bring this to people in more areas, but to bring it to people suffering from other mental health care challenges.
Do you think psychedelics in general should be legalized?
Okay, so this is me you're talking about, my viewpoint, not Mindbloom's.
My viewpoint is that it's pretty crystal clear that the war on drugs has been a tremendous failure. I think the data coming out of Portugal around legalization is very compelling. I think that if there were really high quality, thoughtful, intentional programs, for how to support people who are suffering from addiction and there maybe some sort of, criteria for what should be legalized and what shouldn't, That there are probably a lot of drugs that are not legal today, that would be very safe to be legalized.
I think if you just look at harm reduction scales, the fact that alcohol is legal. Which now I partake in a libation here and there. But the fact that alcohol is legal., or even though we have like 7 million kids on amphetamines every day, Adderall, but things like psilocybin and ketamine, like are, or at least, I mean, ketamine is prescribable, but like psilocybin or LSD are completely illegal. It doesn't really make sense.
I would agree. In terms of the psychedelic industry as a whole, it seems like there's been a lot happening the last four or five years. And there are clinics like Mindbloom, there are drug and biotech companies, there are software companies. What are you most excited about, I guess, outside of Mindbloom that you see happening in the industry as a whole right now?
I mean, it's an obvious answer, but I just think the MDMA clinical trials are so pivotal. I mean our science director, Dr. Casey Paleos is running, as a co-principal investigator on the MDMA clinical trials here in New York. I'm not saying that because he's part of our team, I'm saying it because I think it's, like it just stuns me that this is potentially going to happen. From the first time I experienced MDMA and over the last 11 years is just been so utterly transformational to me.
So it's like mind boggling that it's not accessible to people, And that was before I even began learning about like the clinical research behind it, like five years ago.
And then it's no brainer. So, not only is bringing that to market for people going to change so many lives, which like I said, in our mission, I believe can change the world. But it's also just such a lead domino into everything else. If that domino falls so much more is going to fall.
So just for like what it could do for the world and how long Rick Doblin and the incredible team of MAPS has been fighting for this and just how effective they've been and how close it is. I just can't imagine anything else even close to as exciting as that,
But it seems like the obvious answer. So sorry, I can give you something more.
No, not at all. I mean it's, it's getting closer and closer. Right. And that's probably is like you said, the biggest domino to fall, so it will be exciting when that happens.
Even if no other dominoes fall like that alone is gonna change the world.
So what are you most excited about with Mindbloom in particular, in this next phase? You mentioned building out the team and scaling the operations. There's been tons of great results already so far. I imagine that's probably one of the most rewarding parts of even building this company?
What are you looking forward to?
So you answered the obvious answer there, which is the client stories are like, it's like a huge cultural pillar of Mindbloom. It's something we share internally and externally is laser-focused on like the work that's being done for the clients that these incredible trailblazing clinicians that we partner with and coaches are like helping people to access.
There are a lot of tears shed when we share them, internally and externally. But the thing I'm most excited about, or maybe one of the things I'm most excited about, is with Mindbloom, not only do we have this like really awesome mission and not only do I get to feel like I'm building something that like, is that the cross section of what I'm really good at and what the world needs and what I love doing and what also, can make money.
But I also set out to really try to build an organization where we weren't just trying to innovate with the company, but we're also really trying to innovate with the company culture that we're building. And so one of the things we're doing is building a more conscious company culture or what we call it a culture of consciousness.
And especially now as we're really scaling from, I think we were about 25 now to probably 200 people. As of the date of this recording in early November, 2020, now we're we're like really putting in place. That's like really sort of special culture of consciousness and it's really challenging and it's really painful, but it's a way for us to not only make this big contribution, that feels like our we're putting like our art and our soul, like into what we're building to help people, but it feels like just the act of building the company with this unique company culture is its own like avenue for like personal, and for lack of a better word, like spiritual or like philosophical growth, both as individuals and as like a team. So that's one of the things I'm most excited about.
And it's something that we're like investing a lot more in now that we're really growing and scaling the team.
So I'm really curious about that. Can you give us a couple of specifics of what goes into building that culture and that, and that specific way?
Yeah. So there are a few values that we're really implementing. So one is a culture of fairly radical transparency and candor and intellectual honesty. So for instance, like we don't do one-on-ones at the company. Everything we do as a team and we're constantly giving each other like both positive and constructive feedback across the team.
Another is that, we talk a lot and think a lot about, how not just to like help our clients separate from their egos, but how do we like separate ourselves from our egos, like while we're working. And while we are having intellectually honest discussions with each other, and how do we like give ourselves up to sort of like the higher mission to transform lives in the world?
Another is that we have a culture, pretty radical freedom and responsibility. We were like a remote first company before it was cool. Covid really took the wind out of our like radical remote first sales. But from founding, we've been remote first, because we believe that one, we wanted to attract people from all over the country who are incredibly fired up and passionate about this, and didn't want to sort of limit, or hiring from, but to wanting to create a culture where people were able to, go into really deep work on their own, have a lot of freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions and not have a lot of oversight.
It's something that I think we're seeing a lot of, pretty innovative company cultures, even if they're controversial, like Netflix and Bridgewater, and actually like right now at the company, everybody is reading, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, which is this incredible book by them.
These people, the conscious leadership group. just this really interesting cross section of, how do you bring awareness and consciousness, and wholeness to actually building that really high performing organization. And so we think that there's something special here that is, sort of elevating us from a really machine oriented input output, like put on a mask when you come to work and your work avatar sort of culture to one that is a little more integrated and whole, and sort of aware and honest, in a way that's really uncomfortable for a lot of people. And it's probably pretty magnetic in terms of like, it attracts some people and like repels most, But we feel like it's a big avenue for our own personal growth in addition to how we're growing the company.
There's an entire part two to this podcast that I want to do at some point on diving, even deeper to all those cultural norms that you have. I think it's great. , I know you gotta jump. Thanks so much for spending the time. Anything you want to leave the audience with in terms of where they can find you and find out more about Mindbloom?
Yeah, Mindbloom is that mindbloom.co. I don't have social media, which I get, which I get away with as a mental health care entrepreneur, what are the fringe benefits? , and, , but yeah, I mean, we're really open. So if you want to hit me up, I'm at Dylan@mindbloom.co and we'd love to hear from you.
Thanks so much, Dylan.
Absolutely. Thanks Trey. This was a blast.
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